We get it; people assume that it’s only acceptable for women to do yoga. But that is far from the truth! Athletes everywhere are taking advantage of the benefits of yoga. Many amateur and professional athletes have found ways to utilize the benefits of yoga in their individual sports, taking advantage of not only the physical benefits, but the mental benefits as well. Here are a few sports where you can use yoga in your training regimen!

Basketball stars such as Shaquille O’Neil and LeBron James both have taken advantage of the benefits of yoga to help them be the at the top of their sport. Mobility is a key part of basketball, and many players focus too much on just strength training and not on becoming more mobile. Yoga can help fix imbalances of strength vs. mobility in the legs and help to decrease the chances of injury.

Ever heard of football player Victor Cruz? Wonder how he stays so nimble on the field? Yoga! Football players need to be able to withstand impacts and quick changes in direction. Yoga can help players to maximize their mobility, as well as strengthening their mental skills and focus. Whether you’re a wide receiver who needs to work on being able to change directions quickly, or a defensive player who needs to be quick off the line to go after the quarterback, you can benefit from yoga being part of your training.

Many Major League Baseball teams such as the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and more have been reaping the benefits of yoga for their players. Some of the most common baseball injuries are hamstring pulls, shoulder issues, and core strains. Most of these are due to a lack of mobility. Yoga helps baseball players to enhance their range of motion in their joins while promoting stability. Anyone who plays baseball knows that after a few hours on the field, your mind game is essential. Yoga also teaches focus and concentration, which could be the difference between catching that fly ball or letting the other team score another run.

Jordan Spieth, winner of this year’s Masters and the US Open, utilizes yoga in his training to keep him at the top of his game. Whether you’re a weekend golfer, or a high school or collegiate athlete trying to stay ahead of your competition, the benefits of yoga for golf are clear. A golf swing requires stability through a huge range of motion in the hips and spine. Yoga can help to keep these areas loose and help to avoid injury. But as the great Bobby Jones once said, “Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course…the space between your ears.” Golf is just as much of a mental game as it is a physical one. Yoga can help to increase focus and concentration, helping in those big pressure situations such as a long putt on the green or that dreaded first shot of the day.

Soccer requires many quick changes of direction as well high levels of flexibility in the hips. Yoga can help to increase mobility in these areas to prevent injury and allow for better movement on the field. The mental focus that yoga can teach comes in handy as well during those long spurts of time where you are out on the field and need to dig deep to help your team win.

Hockey is an aggressive sport, often involving hard hits at high velocity. But hockey requires more than just brute strength, there is a large amount of flexibility and stability required to be a successful player. Yoga can help hockey players to avoid injury as well as stay nimble on the ice. For goalies especially, the mental help that yoga can provide is crucial. The focus and concentration provided through a yoga training regimen could be the difference between stopping that high-speed slap shot or losing the game.

Swimming utilizes almost every muscle in the body, so yoga training is pretty much a no brainer! With complex movements of the hips, shoulders, and other major joints, the flexibility provided through yoga training is a huge benefit to swimmers.

Whether it’s a 50 mile road ride, a complex downhill mountain ride, or a BMX race with large spurts of acceleration and jumps, cyclists of all proficiencies can benefit from yoga. Cycling uses complex movements of the hips, shoulders, knees, and core. Yoga can help to strengthen these joints to prevent injury and create a more efficient power transfer to your pedals. Cycling also requires a large amount of mental focus, yoga can help you to train your mind when it matters most.

Here at OCSC, we want to help you to train, no matter what your sport is. Take advantage of the many yoga classes we have to offer, and start training today!